Getting In The Spirit

Taking drugs from a stranger. Hiding a body in the middle of nowhere. A DIY kit for creating ghosts. These are just some of the really bad decisions the people in The Sister are making to ring in the new year. Even worse decisions are yet to come. But while the choices they make haunt them for a decade, this show won’t haunt after Hulu automatically launches into the next show the algorithm thinks you’ll like.

Unhappy New Year

The Sister is a psychological thriller; part ghost story, part murder mystery, part creepy love story. All three of those elements can make for an edge-of-your-seat popcorn event. The story is told from the perspective of 2020 along with frequent flashbacks to 2013 and New Year’s Eve 2009/2010. Unfortunately, like the timeline, the story is all over the place.

Without giving too much away, Elise Fox (Simone Ashley) and Nathan (Russell Tovey) meet after midnight while leaving a New Year’s Eve party. They’re hitting it off when Bob (Bertie Carvel) drives up and offers a ride. She goes missing and the guys bury the evidence in the middle of the woods. A decade later, their crimes literally come back to haunt them.

In between all that, a suicidal Nathan sees Elise’s sister, Holly (Amrita Acharia), on TV pleading for information into the disappearance. He decides to choose life, seek her out, and quickly marries her without telling her he was at the same party Elise disappeared from much less that he knows what went down.

Time To Go

And I’m on board for all of this. The problem is the story meanders through plot points and time periods. The Sister is a 3 hour, four episode limited series that originally aired in the UK. The show could have easily been a 90 minute movie. The flashbacks border on tedium, taking forever to ever reveal anything of substance about the mystery we’re supposed to care about.

And despite the length, the resolution of why Elise and another character were supposed to die comes right out of left field. Check that: it comes from the far end of the parking lot beyond the left field bleachers. Bob is established as a paranormal expert who regularly communicates with the dead. But the way he justifies his actions just sort of.. happens. The show never gave more than lip service to Bob’s claims, then overdosed us in the final act of the final episode.

If you do watch this to the end.. watch it to the end. The final shot is be either a thrilling reveal (it’s not that thrilling) or a setup to a sequel (I hope not).

The Critic’s Cocktail Recommendation

I’m mixing up a Ghost Cocktail. It may not raise the dead, but it may raise your spirits!


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